Token. Yep, that was me. For the first 22 years of my life. I was raised in a 99% white world so when I started dating, I only dated white men (and started late, too; first date at 17). There were other Black men in that remaining 1% but being the fierce and stubborn woman that I was [am], I refused to date them just because they were Black.
So I still dated white men, then I married a white man, divorced the same white man, then dated a string of others. So while 2018 me hasn’t seriously dated a white man in about three years, I would still say I’m an expert on interracial relationships.
That’s why, when a friend shared an excited conundrum, I’ve got a white man on my heels! What do I do!? I showed up and taught her everything I know. So, darling sister Women of Color, here’s…
WHAT TO KNOW WHEN DATING A WHITE MAN:
Disclaimer: This is a collection of learnings and not a reflection of any one person in my past, and yes each of these comes from experience. Of the white men I have dated, they have all (to my knowledge) been cis-het-white men.
1. White men are lovely, BUT most of them aren’t aware of their white privilege. Be wary of the ones that appear woke but aren’t. This might come out in him minimizing your goals, diminishing your struggles, dismissing your experiences of racism, or being obtuse to the importance of black excellence, representation and speaking your mind. When he shows the first sign of this: GOODBYE.
2. If you meet his family and his family makes racist comments and he doesn’t stand up for you: BYE.
3. If he ever makes racist comments himself because “you’re close like that,” BYE.
4. If he shows you off to his Black friends or only talks about all his Black friends, or talks about all his Black friends as “Black friends” and not friends period: BYE.
5. If he doesn’t introduce you to his friends, family and basically keeps you a secret, EFFING.GOOD.BYE.
6. If he has a pet name that has anything to do with race like Ebony Goddess: BYE BYE AND ROT IN A COLD DARK CAVE.
7. If he only dates Black women or women of color: WHY then BYE.
8. If he doesn’t want to talk about race issues with you, BYE.
9. If he doubts your expertise and questions your authority but accepts the same answer from a white person: [side eye, pick up bags and leave TOUTDESUITE]
10. If he makes any comment like, “Wow, I’ve always wanted to date a Black woman,” or “I’ve never had one of you before,” BYE.
BONUS: If he asks you questions as if you’re the spokesperson for all minorities, GET.OUT.
Congratulations! You can now successfully identify interracial dating red flags and and spare yourself the shock, agony, horror and disappointment of being served microracism in your home.